Pedestrian deaths up almost 50 percent since 2009

Technological advances have increased the safety of vehicles. Cars can now sense when there is a sudden need to stop on the highway and adapt cruise control speeds to help keep the flow of traffic moving smoothly. With these and other advances we expect the number of deaths related to car accidents to decrease.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Fatalities resulting from auto wrecks are on the rise. Pedestrian deaths are an example. The National Transportation Safety Board reports the most recent available data shows pedestrian fatalities are up 46 percent from 2009 to 2016.

What can we do to keep pedestrians safe? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called for three changes. First the agency calls on car manufacturers to make changes. These changes include better headlights that turn with the car and point at the road instead of into the eyes of oncoming drivers and better braking systems.

Next, the NHTSA calls for state and local authorities to improve safety designs for roadways, sidewalks and better lighting.

Finally, the agency calls on drivers to put down their phones and focus on the roads.

Are there legal remedies for victims of pedestrian accidents? In many cases, victims of pedestrian accidents or those who lose a loved one in a fatal accident have options. This can include a civil claim to hold a negligent driver accountable for wrongdoing.

This claim can serve two goals:

  • Responsibility. A legal claim can help to hold those who cause injury or death to another responsible for their actions. This can result in a monetary award. In these cases, the court requires the guilty party to pay the award to the victim or the victim's loved ones. This award can help to cover the costs that result from the accident. Costs like bills for medical expenses, rehabilitative costs and lost wages.
  • Deterrence. This claim can also deter others from similar violations and ultimately make the community a safer place.

Those who believe they may have a claim are wise to seek legal counsel. An attorney experienced in auto accident claims can discuss the process and better ensure your legal remedies are protected.

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